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Too clever by half-elf: Dungeons & Dragons No Honor Among Thieves

The (partial) death of the reunion

The triumph of social media has destroyed the old way of celebrating anniversaries.  In previous generations, the arrival of a significant date would be commemorated with some sort of reunion.  Because such things happened at intervals of five or ten years, people would anticipate them, and make plans for travel, etc.

Alas, in our benighted age, people think that 'following' on various social media platforms fulfills this function.  It does not.  Partly because of Covid, there was no 30th year reunion for my high school graduating class, and the 20-year festivities had abysmal attendance.  Easier to just send messages on Facebook or something.

The problem is that social media is not real life.  People inherently seek attention, and so they manipulate the information they share about themselves, inflating accomplishments to bolster their self-esteem or highlighting challenges to gain sympathy.

Either way, social media serves as a form of performance art, and is no substitute for human contact.

Indeed, it amplifies the worst aspects of human behavior.

Happily, there are still places where people gather to meet face-to-face, and yesterday I participated in one of them.  My exact contemporaries were few, but the fact that multiple generations gathered and could still share common experiences and relate to one another in terms of life rather than politics or a need to find scapegoats was wonderful.  Indeed, attendance was unusually high, particularly among the younger crowd. 

This gives me hope that perhaps people are realizing that online relationships lack the fullness of a personal touch.  Far better to spend a few hours talking face to face than simply clicking thumbs up  or offering commentary.

Human were built to be together - to hear, to see and to touch one another.  After the lockdowns, maybe people are more sensitive to his.  We can only hople.


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I think many people have become devoted to the idea of virtual meetings. My brother-in-law was recently hospitalized, then sent to a rehabilitation center, die to a severe knee fracture. He and his wife insisted in no in person visits but arranged for multiple virtual visits. Dreadful fear of catching a cold prevails in many social circles. Perhaps it's different when you know the people well and speak often.

Either way, the inflating of achievements and dramatically altering challenges to gain sympathy and applause, are nothing new. I have long been amazed at the need to air one's struggles or family issues in a group setting, and I remember this as a teenager, maybe before.

I have never been a huge fan of gatherings with people I rarely see. I find myself being cornered as "someone good to talk to" on these occasions and when alcohol is involved, it's fairly dreadful. My husband, too, spends most of the evening being peppered with tax questions, so we avoid large groups where people have poor boundaries.

My lurking on AoS has decreased sharply, btw. I did read a Waugh book that was new to me, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, I found it sad and funny, and could relate to poor Gilbert's situation as I have seen many people go through similar ordeals. Additionally, I picked up a copy of The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh. It's full of religious insights, comments about how friends and fellow writers perceived their works, and thankfully, not too much about sister Unity. It has a great index, so it's simple to find specific works.

I hadn't realized, just how close they were and didn't have him down as close to Diana as well. He did dedicate The Loved One to Nancy, so it's not too big a surprise. My assumption is that the editor, being Diana's DIL, cleaned up all the parts that would have tarnished either writer.

A.H. Lloyd

I'm still slogging through Ford Madox Ford's biography. After the 83 page discussion of Parade's End (which I'm not totally on board with), things are picking up again.

As to reunions, your results may vary. I'm really enjoying the family reunions this year. My mother's side is a hot mess, by my father's family is really nice, down-to-earth good people. It's a bit late, but I'm hoping my kids can get to know their not-so-distant kin.

I hate the way Americans have become atomized.

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